Saturday, 30 April 2011

May 2011 Newsletter

Being ‘Easter People

I don’t know which stage of life you feel you in at this present moment?: we talk of people being in the ‘autumn’ of their lives or at the end of their days going to live in ‘Winter Heights Nursing Home’ (or some such name), or whether you feel you are in a wilderness time, struggling with ill-health, the death of a loved one or family worries.

As Christians, whatever we are feeling or whichever stage of life we feel we are in at this present-time, we are called, above all else, to be ‘Easter People’, reflecting the joy of the Risen Lord’s eternal presence with us, and living in the light of Jesus’ glorious Resurrection from the dead: that is why Christianity’s principal Holy Day is on a Sunday, the Son’s Day, the day of Jesus’ Resurrection.

Although we may not feel like it all the time, every Sunday should be an Easter Day, a Celebration, a celebration of Jesus conquering sin and death once and for all time. The early Church were attuned to the seasons and they cannily knew what they were doing when they placed Easter, Our celebration of new life, in the emerging Springtime, amongst all the new verdancy, vitality, new blossom and the warming up of the Earth.

Throughout May and Eastertide this year, we are treated to the some of the most sublime and beautiful stories Sunday by Sunday in our Bible Readings: the stories of the Risen Jesus’ encounter and re-acquaintance with his friends: we will hear Mary in the Easter Garden call Jesus ‘Rabboni’ and Jesus injunction to Mary ‘not to cling to him’; we will go with the disciples on the Road to Emmaus who exclaim that their ‘hearts burned within us as he talked to us on the road’, and whose ‘eyes were opened’ when Jesus broke the bread before them, we shall see Jesus appear to his disciples in the Upper Room, encouraging them to ‘not be afraid’ and persuading Thomas to place ‘his hands in the wounds of his hands and his sides’, we shall smell Jesus cooking fish ‘very early morning’ by the shoreside for his fisherman friends. These Easter moments are mysterious, almost mystical, encounters occurring in the haze of Spring dawn-light. There is much cantankerous talk about there being too many holidays during May, but, as C.S. Lewis would tell us, we can’t live in the winter forever, and after a very, long, cold and hard winter and relentlessly bad news for months and months people need to revel a bit in the Springtime Celebrations of Easter, Weddings, May Day, Whitsun – they are good for us all.
A very big thank you to everyone who joined in our glorious Procession through Marazion on Palm Sunday.

As a ‘Pilgrim People’ as a Benefice we will be on the move again, on Rogation Sunday, travelling from Church to Church blessing fields and crops and enjoying together God’s bountiful Creation. This will take place at the end of the month - I hope you will be able to join in with some or all of it.

As ‘Easter People’ let us enjoy and revel in Our Season of Hope, new Dawn and new Light and may we all enjoy the May-time, the flowers, the blossom and Jesus’ Risen presence with us all.

Happy Eastertide,

Revd Nigel Marns
Rector, The United Benefice of Mounts Bay
(Ludgvan, Marazion, St Hilary & Perranuthnoe)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

April Newsletter

Earthquake in New Zealand, hundreds dead. Earthquake tsunami and nuclear threat in Japan, thousands dead. Civil war in Libya, huge disruption in Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia the list goes on and on – all this disruption in our world and to add to the doom and gloom the Lectionary readings are coming from Jeremiah – is this the end of the world as we know it?
The news at the moment just isn’t too good – one could be excused for thinking that maybe God has gone on holiday.
But look again.
The Japanese people are astounding the world with their behaviour to each other. Locals are sharing their scant supplies of food, water and bedding with refugees.
Workers at the nuclear plant at Fukushima are battling – at huge risk to their own lives, trying to cool the damaged reactors. One sent an email to his family asking them to continue to live well – “I wont be home for some time” he said.
As I write, Comic Relief has just announced the biggest ever contribution in their 23 year history – and this in a recession ravaged Britain! People have still managed to remember those poorer and more disadvantaged than themselves.
Acts of random kindness in all the stricken areas of our world are happening all the time but of course the media don’t always report them. Bad news sells more newspapers.
We as Christians must remember that we have the Good News – Easter is coming and we remember that Jesus is risen from the dead.
We continue our Lent journey in the Benefice with our Lent course on “Not a Tame Lion” which has started in Perranuthnoe and Ludgvan. It’s a very challenging course and I am sure we will all get a lot out of our study together.
Christianity Explored continues in the Cutty Sark in Marazion and plans are being finalised for our grand Palm Sunday parade. What a day that will be. We are doing a completely new thing and trusting God for a good turnout and a blessed time together as a Benefice.
This is something I hear more and more – that we now feel more like a Benefice and the more we do together the more we get to know and love each other. Sacred Space in Marazion, supported by all our churches continues to give those attending a peaceful and uplifting half hour each day – a really good discipline to take just that half an hour and refresh ourselves in God’s peace. I am sure you will want to join me in thanking Nigel, Penny and all those who make this such a wonderful experience – thank you one and all.
We have started our prayer meetings for “When Dom comes” and look forward to having Dom and Hannah join our community after his Ordination in July.
What a lot to look forward to. No – God has not gone on holiday – He is working in His world through ordinary people - just like you and me. He always has and He always will – may we, during this Lenten period, just give Him the time and space in our lives to lead us into a deeper relationship with Him.
Thought I would close with a bit of humour and a reminder just how great our God is.

A priest is driving to London and gets stopped for speeding near Swindon. The policeman smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car. He says, "Sir, have you been drinking?" "Just water," says the priest, fingers crossed. The policeman says, "Then why do I smell wine?" The priest looks at the bottle and says, "Good Lord! He's done it again!"
May God Bless you and yours for this coming Easter Season.
Rev Beth Whyte